The Fastest Maze-Solving Competition On Earth

posted by Jason Kottke   May 26, 2023

Oh this is so nerdy and great: Veritasium introduces us to Micromouse, a maze-solving competition in which robotic mice compete to see which one is the fastest through a maze. The competitions have been held since the late 70s and today's mice are marvels of engineering and software, the result of decades of small improvements alongside bigger jumps in performance.

I love stuff like this because the narrow scope (single vehicle, standard maze), easily understood constraints, and timed runs, combined with Veritasium's excellent presentation, makes it really easy to understand how innovation works. The cars got faster, smaller, and learned to corner better, but those improvements created new challenges which needed other solutions to overcome to bring the times down even more. So cool.